Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wake Up!

I've been a mom for almost eight years, and you'd think that by now I'd be completely unfazed by the fact that my children wake up at an ungodly early hour each day. By now it should be totally A-OK with me that every morning, no matter the season, their activities the day before, the weather outside, or how tired any of us actually are, my children emerge from their room around six a.m.--and only that late because I forbid anyone to come out prior to six. They are often awake by 5:45--or earlier.

I won't go into all the discussion about how, save for a very rare occurrence perhaps once or twice a year, this early-waking phenomenon is unrelated to their bedtime. Just please trust that, as a smart, adult, experienced person, I have tried everything, and no, it does not help to let my daughters stay up later at night. They go to bed early because that's when their bodies conk out, and if I keep them up later, they still wake up before six a.m., only everyone's even crankier than usual because they've gotten even less sleep than normal. That may not be true of your children. It is true of mine, though. Enough about that.

But my point is, I am tiiiiiired every morning, people. I go to bed so early compared to most adults, and it's never early enough when it's time to get out of bed in the morning. I purposely get up an hour before my children--otherwise I'd never get to drink a cup of coffee in peace or get any writing done at all--but if I had kids who slept until a normal time, I certainly would not be willingly getting up at five. I'm a morning person, yes, but is "morning" really five a.m.? That seems like "still nighttime" to me.

Every morning when my girls pad down the stairs at 6:01 (which is about 5:57 on the clock downstairs, a fact that annoys me, because,'s NOT SIX NOW IS IT?), I am newly shocked and horrified. They are sick to death of hearing me say, "I can't believe you two are up so early! I thought for sure you'd sleep a little later today!" (Clearly I'm delusional.)

Summer vacation starts in a week and a half. I LOVE summer with my children; I truly live all year for it, dream about it, crave it. And the good part is that, on school vacations of any sort, I typically allow myself to sleep as "late" as my children do. There's no big rush to get ready for the day, after all, and I can drink my coffee and catch up on e-mail while they watch morning cartoons later, unlike the school year when life is busier. But even so, it sort of kills me that by and large our summer schedule is no different from any other time of year when it comes to sleep. Unlike yours, my daughters will not be sleeping in, not even a little bit, when school lets out. No one will emerge from her bed, rumple-headed, at seven or eight on those lovely, lazy June mornings. Mark my word, on June 4th they'll be awake at 5:35, and poking their heads out of their room at 5:58, and I'll be groaning and swearing to myself that I'll go to bed EVEN EARLIER that night.

I love summer. But it's been eight years of motherhood and I'm still chronically sleep-deprived. Some mornings I want to cry. Instead, I feed my coffee habit. You gotta get through the day, after all!

Maybe someday I'll have time to nap.


Mom said...

Come next September, then both girls are in school "all day", you can and should certainly take at least one of those days each week either to go back to bed when the schoolbus has chugged away or lie down and take a nap whenever the desire strikes you, as long as it's before 3 p.m. Go for it!

Anonymous said...

Oh I feel for ya! I have 3 kids and the oldest one(9 yrs)has always been a very early riser, 5:30ish. He shares a room with his 4 year old brother and has now starting waking him up at this crazy hour! By the time the oldest and his younger sister go to school, he has been up for 3 hours already. I stay at home with the 4 year old so it's a really long day as he hasn't napped in forever.

I always have people say to me why don't you keep them up later??? Because it doesn't work like that people. Just because we keep them up doesn't mean that they won't be back up at 5:30...because they will. Ugh. I keep telling my husband that someday we will sleep. Maybe?